Juan Guaido is the legitimate leader of Venezuela

Now that Venezuelans are being considered for protection under the Temporary Protected Status; we must ask ourselves to what extent the political situation in the South American country has deteriorated.

Typically, the Temporary Protected Status is afforded to citizens of countries that have been afflicted by great trauma; be it political, environmental, or otherwise. 

The program does not offer a path to citizenship. but it does protect them from deportation for an extended period.

Recently, the country’s dictator Nicolas Maduro, in a usual fit of irresponsibility, told his people, starving and desperate that he had “been to the future” and confirmed that everything will be fine.

At the same time, a new opposition leader arose from the country’s national assembly: Juan Guaido.

As it stands, the Venezuelan legislature is the only part of the government that retains any shred of legitimacy.

And after Maduro confirmed his unwillingness to let go of power, the assembly named Guaido as the country’s legitimate president. Naturally, the regime has denied the legitimacy of Guaido, a budding statesman known for his principled, energetic activism, first against Hugo Chavez’s regime, and now against his even more inept successor. 

Guaido’s claim to the presidency has not fallen on deaf ears. President Donald Trump’s administration may be on the verge of recognizing Guaido as the true Venezuelan president, along with scores of media outlets, notably in Miami’s Venezuelan exile community.

At this point, it is a waste of time to expect anything good from the Maduro regime. He and his military cronies have violently targeted peaceful protesters with no regard for human life. 

They have jailed dissenting voices like that of Leopoldo Lopez and Juan Requesens.

In confronting that, Guaido represents a much needed hope for the Venezuelan people, at home and abroad.  

Maduro himself knows it. That is why, after detaining Guaido illegally, they released him. Maduro’s government know they’re wrong.

Guaido is the constitutional leader because, unlike Maduro, his authority comes directly from the citizenry, whose  rates of disapproval for the Maduro regime are astronomical; a fact made obvious by the exodus of thousands of people into Colombia and other neighboring countries.

At FIU, the plight of the Venezuelan people represents a powerful and vibrant part of our student life. 

Guaido and his democratic coalition need all the help they can get; and our voices can be as strong and useful in Venezuela’s fight for freedom.

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